The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Finance and Commerce Ministries are engaged in consultations over the steps that need to be taken to curb gold imports.

Addressing reporters on the sidelines of a function organised by Assocham here, Commerce Secretary, S.R. Rao said the trade deficit was a matter of concern for the government and that the RBI and the Finance and Commerce Ministries are involved in the issue. “We are consulting on the issue of gold imports and that is all I can say at the moment. RBI has already put some restrictions on consignment imports of the banks. We are looking which way we need to move forward now. We are examining the matter thoroughly,” he added.

India's gold imports touched 162 tonnes in May this year. Gold imports in the country stood at around 830 tonne in 2012-13. The surge in gold imports pushed the trade deficit to $17.7 billion in April this year.

On the issue of Special Economic Zones (SEZs), Mr. Rao said steps are being taken to notify the new SEZ guidelines which seek to ease land requirement norms and provide for an exit policy. “I think in a couple of weeks time rules will come out,” he said.

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